The Washington Post

Herby Coconut Chicken Skewers Platter

Herby Coconut Chicken Skewers Platter 4.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Aug 7, 2022

This platter of herbaceous chicken skewers and crunchy vegetables is built for sun-filled barbecues and leisurely grazing long into the evening. The star of the show is a punchy sauce of coconut cream, cilantro, mint, fish sauce, garlic, lime and serrano pepper that does double duty as both marinade for the chicken thighs and dip for the crunchy vegetables.

Use the suggestions below or any mix of crunchy, leafy, dippable vegetables.

For 4 to 8 people, you’ll want about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of mixed produce. You’ll also need wooden skewers.

Active time: 1 hour 15 mins; Total time: 1 hour 15 mins, plus marinating time

Correction: The previous version of the recipe misstated the servings range; it has been updated.

Make Ahead: The wooden skewers need to be soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before grilling.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 days, and any leftover chicken skewers and vegetables, in separate containers, for up to 5 days.

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings

  • For the chicken and dip
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt, divided
  • Finely grated zest of 2 to 3 limes (1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 serrano peppers, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 medium avocado (5 ounces), halved and pitted
  • 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Neutral oil, such as canola, for greasing the grill
  • For the platter
  • 1 bunch small carrots (8 ounces total), green tops trimmed, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into spears
  • 1 to 2 watermelon radishes (6 ounces total), thinly sliced (may substitute 1 small bunch red radishes)
  • 6 ounces snap peas
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved if large
  • 1/4 medium head red or green cabbage (6 ounces total), cut into big chunks


Make the chicken and dip: In a blender, combine the coconut cream, sugar, fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt, lime zest and juice, garlic, and serrano peppers. Blend on high until smooth. Add the cilantro and mint, in batches, and blend on high until smooth, being careful not to overblend and heat the sauce, 15 to 30 seconds. Transfer 1 cup of the sauce to a large bowl and set aside.

Scoop out the avocado flesh and add it to the remaining sauce in the blender; process until smooth, about 15 seconds. Transfer to an airtight container, and place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent discoloration (if using parchment, cut the circle to fit inside the container). Cover with a lid and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Add the chicken and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt to the bowl with the reserved marinade, and toss until evenly coated. Thread 3 or 4 pieces of chicken onto each of the soaked wooden skewers, and set on a rimmed baking sheet or plate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

When ready to cook, prepare the grill for direct medium heat (about 400 degrees; see NOTE).

Lightly oil your grill. Working in batches if necessary, place the skewers on the grill and cook without moving them, until the chicken develops grill marks, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. If grilling in batches, transfer the cooked skewers to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Assemble the platter: Transfer the creamy herb-coconut sauce to a small bowl. Stack the skewers on a large serving platter and arrange the vegetables on the rest of the platter.

NOTE: To prepare the grill: If using a gas grill, set it to 400 degrees. If using a charcoal grill, fill a chimney starter with charcoal, light it and when the coals are red hot, pour them into the grill. Scatter more charcoal over, as needed. When all the coals have ashed over and are gray but are still very hot, about 15 minutes, your grill should be medium-hot. (Use a grill thermometer or test the heat by holding your hand, palm-down, about 4 inches from the grill. If you can hold it there for about 5 seconds, the heat should be at medium heat, or 375 to 425 degrees.)

If using charcoal, this dish may take about 15 minutes longer to prepare.

Recipe Source

From food writer Asha Loupy.

Tested by Hattie Ulan.

Email questions to the Food Section.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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